Crouching Otter, Hidden Dragon [24 Oix 4261]
I really wasn't trying to cheat on Ilottat. It was all professional interest. Honest!
Still, he was cute.
He, of course, being Vernon, and a young enchanter from Ulmarn, and a very Orrenly sort of Orren. Nothing particularly stood out at first glance, except for a very strange rope belt. He showed up in Prof. Algazond's classroom this morning, and they chatted like old friends. He was evidently her top student, graduating a couple years ago, and had gone to Ulmarn and set up a little shop. He was back visiting and buying equipment.
By some good fortune, I finished the morning's enchantment early.
Rhedwy:"Hah, now you are done for the day. Do you go stalk the older Orren enchanter?"
Me:"Of course not!"
Rhedwy:"I do not tell Ilottat!"
Me:"I doubt he's even traff."
Rhedwy:"Hah, I smell you are wrong!"
Me:"What do you mean?"
Rhedwy:"Oh, there is nothing I mean! Except that I must stay here and work for two or four more hours." And I couldn't get another word out of her. Dratted half-monster.
Midmorning, in Cafe du Fronde: Again, the Cafe du Fronde is full of great jets of snow from jugs under potted fern trees, and serving mainly pots of snow doused in syrup or wine. Again, Cafe du Fronde is unpleasantly cold. Again, for some reason, the small blue cave lizard has decided to go to Cafe du Fronde between Enchantment and normal classes rather than fly back to Quelldrie House.
Again, the first-year students are having a snowball fight in the cafe.
This time, though, I am not one of the first-year students. I am dignified second-year student; I am there with a textbook; I am concentrating on my studies with diligence and vigor! (Well, for an hour or two a week at least. Mainly I rely on my ducal and ambassadorial connections to guarantee that I pass all my courses.)
So, of course, I hid under a chair and watched the whole thing, instead of studying.
Of course Vernon showed up.
Of course Vernon valiantly and wisely showered Oonspath with snowballs. To the extent of driving him out of the snow-dancing circle in the middle of the room, and back to his own table. After doing this deed, Vernon clambered to the top of the bar (which was covered with snow) and crouched, ready to shower him with snowballs again if the need arose. Also he cast some sort of snowball deflection spell on himself.
Of course I had to go up and congratulate him.
Me:"You valiantly and wisely drove away Oonspath the appalling!"
Vernon:"Well, it should be done every few years. Or more often. You're Hezimikkinen's sister, aren't you? I saw you in Algazond's class."
Me:"Sibling, but yes. I'm called Sythyry. You were her student?"
Vernon:Certainly! I even have a life story, though it will take several hours to tell, with many side excursions and thirteen assorted digressions, including one of my reason for being so eager to toss snowballs at Oonspath.
Me:Then you must begin at once! I am always eager to spend several hours chatting with a cute Orren, especially when it concerns reasons for despising Oonspath.
Vernon:Very well! Though, two hours into it, we must order lunch, for I will have become hungry. Also we should avoid ordering tea after that, for the waiter will spill it upon me ... no, on second thought, there's no way I could know that in advance, so let us, in fact, order tea.
And that's all we did, and I really didn't have much of a crush on him at all or ogle him too much when he took off his shirt so he could stay in land-form despite being soaked, when:
Me:"Oh, dearie! I'm late!"
Vernon:"For class? Speaking as an old Vheshrame Academy student, classes are frequently overrated and may be skipped with impunity."
Me:"No! For a date with a nendrai!"
Vernon:"Sythyry? Feel free to depart for any reason you like, or no reason at all."
Me:"That's the real reason!"
Upon which I did a good imitation of a Wild Rush, and got to Vae only about an hour late. She wasn't insulted, though, just mopey.
Ilottat was pissed though. He'd heard what I was up to from a couple of mutual friends, ones who were under the misconception that he and I had broken up. He found me after class for a whispered tongue-lashing.
[Thanks to vernononfm for a Katrina contribution!]